Strib invests in ag reporting


I was pleased to pick up yesterday's Star Tribune and find the front page devoted to a new special report called Our Hungry Planet, which attempts to track rising food costs along the links of the interdependent global food chain.

In the first installment, Matt McKinney traces palm oil production from Cargill's Paupua New Guinea plantations to General Mills' breakfast bars. He also traveled to Shanghai to see how  Minnesota's major food producers are rushing to get their meat, dairy, and grains to feed China's growing appetite for such products, as wealth increases and diets change.

This is the kind of complex, resource-intensive, big-picture sort of reporting that's becoming more scarce as newspapers continue to face budget crunches, so I'm glad to see the Star Tribune stepping up to the challenge and am eager to see the subsequent reports.